54 years strong

Updated after several texts from my dad to correct my mistakes

Today is my parents’ fifty-fourth wedding anniversary. They got married on Feb 15, 1969. They were going to get married later in the year, but dad was home from Vietnam for a short leave, and his mom suggested they just get married that weekend real quick. They saved some cash by getting married directly after a funeral, because they didn’t have to pay for flowers. They actually got married after another wedding, but that party took their flowers with them, so the church was bare.

It took them a further twelve years to have me. TWELVE years! I will allow it, as I was unplanned.

They were 25, turning 26, when they got married, and while both native Californians, only my mom was native to Los Angeles when they met. As my mom tells it, she was tricked into a double date with my dad, because her roommate’s boyfriend brought his roommate, so mom had to go with. My dad started out his career working on airplanes, and worked for McDonnell Douglas [He worked for GE at McDonnell Douglas]. They would take planes up, turn off the engines, and see how long it would take for them to turn them back on. Direct quote from dad: “It wasn’t like they shut all the engines off at once, but they did shake the wings to see if they were strong enough and slowed the plane down to find out what speed it quit flying.” He went through college on an ROTC scholarship, so I suppose he started his career actually in the army. [They did not have ROTC scholarships back then! He worked at the California Division of Highways in the summers to pay for college. I can remember him saying what miserable work it was, working on these highways in the hot summer.] He went to Vietnam again as a civilian, when he worked on jet engines at GE [Again, he was working for GE at McDonnell Douglas]. My mom worked at AllState, but after they got married (and dad was back from Vietnam), they started moving all over the world. We moved to America in 1990, though we used to visit America all the time in the summers to see our grandparents in Humbolt County and in LA. Now they live quite near me in Upstate New York, so the kids see them often. Just today, mom “got a perfect” on her 3 month oncology checkup, so if there was ever a pair to go strong for 54 years, it’s them. I’ve never met younger old people in my ever days. Here’s to many, many more!

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